Cape Town – Frans Steyn narrowly missed a final minute conversion that would have secured the Brave Lupus the Japanese Top League final against the Wild Knights on Sunday.
The Lupus went down by 27-26.
Replacement wing Shohei Toyoshim had scored a dramatic 79th minute try to bring the Lupus to within one point of the title.
Steyn missed with his conversion attempt from a tight angle. It was his first kick at goal for the evening after regular kicker scrumhalf, Takahiro Ogawa, had left the field midway through the second half.
Another South African, centre JP Pietersen scored a try for the Wild Knights in the 60th minute which gave the defending champions at 27–14 lead and looked to have put the game beyond the visitors.
The Brave Lupus fought back with two tries in the final 10 minutes of the match but just fell short at the final hurdle.